Variation of Blackjack Online

Variation of Blackjack Online

Did you just think you have Blackjack all figured out? You now know how to count cards and use basic strategy to play your favorite game and suddenly you find that things are not so simple. The market is flooded with different variations of this exciting casino game. Look around and you will find plenty of blackjack variations like extreme 21, pontoon, Spanish 21 and so on. Certain top online casinos offer players at least 40 different variations. Here are a few popular variations of blackjack online you must know about.

Face-Up 21

Face-Up 21 is played with rules similar to the standard blackjack, the only difference being that all the dealer’s cards are played face up as compared to standard version where one card is dealt face down. Instead of three to two traditional pay outs, even money is paid by the blackjacks in this version. Dealer wins all the tie hands. In spite of these obvious drawbacks, this version of the game makes it easy for players to beat the dealer.

Triple 7′s

This is a variation of blackjack where apart from playing all the normal strategies associated with traditional blackjack you can also take a shot at progressive jackpot by betting on any 7′s you may be dealt with. With over 30% house edge on the side bet, this is an interesting variation where initial cards of the dealer are dealt face up without a hole card.

This variation of the game does not allow you to double after splitting. You can only double on 9, 10 or 11. The most significant variation in this version of the game as compared to traditional blackjack is that apart from the regular 3:2 pay out, you also get bonuses if you have 7′s in your hand.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

Players enjoy playing this popular blackjack version that has very minimal differences with the traditional version. You can play Vegas Strip blackjack with six or four decks of cards. The deck you choose depends on the venue. Except split Aces, players can choose any split to double down. The dealer stands on 17 and players can re-split after splitting again except on splitting Aces.

Perfect Pairs

Apart from all the rules in Vegas Strip blackjack, this variation has an additional feature where players can place side bets as an option if they think that the dealer or player may have a pair.

There is a 30 to one pay out for perfect pairs which could be two cards of the same suit or rank. Pairs of the same color and rank or colored pairs carry a 10 to one payout and players will get a 5 to one payout for any other pair.

There are plenty of other blackjack variations out there that make your gaming experience exceptional. Winner Casino is powered by Playtech software and they offer some of the largest variations of blackjack an online casino can offer.

Slot Machine Variance

Slot Machine Variance

We all can appreciate an awesome slot game, especially from the convenience of our own homes. There are more software developers online than ever before, and with more slot games to choose from; players can be a bit confused when it comes to terms like low and high variance, especially newer players. The difference between the two can be huge, but it’s not as hard it sounds to spot the difference between the variances of slot games; and once explained you will be able to figure it out just by looking at the paytable.

First let’s start with low variance. Low variance means the player will have many symbol combinations and plenty of ways to win on the paylines, however; the jackpots are smaller. More wins, more often, but the amount of the wins could be small and there is a bit of playtime potential, but not much of a jackpot potential. Of course, players could win big on these games; just not as much as they could win with a higher variance.

Medium variance is just a bit different that low variance and the winning potential is often, but the jackpot potential falls into the medium range. For example, a five of a kind on a payline would only pay a fraction of the bet amount for lower paying symbols, but there would be a few combinations that would have true jackpot potential. These games are most popular among the players as it’s not unlikely to win a nice sum of cash in a single spin with the right payline combination.

High variance is a bit harder to win, but when you do; it’s massive. These slot games will have small paying jackpots for the simple symbol combinations; however, the top paying symbols will payout huge. The jackpot potential for these types of games are not only tempting, they could boost your bankroll substantially in a single spin. These games can also deplete your bankroll quickly, so it’s wise to play these slot games smart.

Finding the difference between the games only takes a few moments by looking at the paytable. Usually casinos do not list the variance of the games; but there are a few that do. If you should find that the higher variance attracts you more, don’t be dissuaded by trying the lower variance games. Slot machines are fun and profitable no matter which one you play.

Profiling Loyalty Program Customers in the Gaming Space

Believe it or not, the average casino has approximately the same number of surveillance cameras installed inside of it as most medium-sized towns. Every square inch is covered by multiple viewing-lenses inside modern casinos. Whenever gambling is involved, details are viewed and reviewed from dozens of separate angles to make sure everything is being carried out in a professional manner. Now, you might think that all of this beefed-up security if for catching criminals, and for the most part you’re completely right. Those security feeds are used for something else equally as important, however; it is how casinos profile their customers for loyalty programs. So what does loyalty programs have to do with profiling, you ask? Great question…we have no idea.

Just kidding, of course we know why gamblers are studied under a microscope from a hundred different viewpoints. Besides the obvious reasons, gaming franchises like to keep a careful watch on their consumers because they are actively on the lookout for a certain type of gambler. The people behind those cameras are searching for gamblers that have a certain composure, that bet the right amounts, and that act with just enough class to make the casino believe that they’ve finally spotted the rarest of species to enter the gaming floor…the whale.

Finding High Rollers

Most gamblers that are considered to be true VIP’s do not gamble for money; they have more than enough assets to live out the rest of their lives without earning another penny. They look at winning and losing from an entirely different perspective because gambling for them is about the roll of the dice, the flip of the card, the unpredictable result that can come from a sudden lucky roll of the dice. For the rich, sophisticated gambler it is the equivalent of jumping out of an airplane or diving with the sharks; it is a momentary rush that they can not find anywhere else on Earth.

Casinos know that this type of customer is extremely rare, simply because their competitors will do everything possible to keep him hidden from the world. The competition to land these types of clients is what put casinos in Las Vegas on the map, so you’d better believe that the loyalty rewards extended to true high-rollers is nothing short of extraordinary. The key is spotting these types of betters as quickly as possible so that a welcome offer can be extended; it is usually a significant one as well.


Of course, profiling is also used to verify loyalty program rewards as well. If a higher-tiered customer is spotted betting at a five dollar blackjack table, for example, then the casino will likely inform him that they will have to reduce his comp rate before he leaves to return home. The same goes for gamblers suspected of counting cards, switch betting amounts, making strange eye contact, or make routine trips to the bathroom; it signals that something may not be exactly as the player makes it seem.

Traditional casinos give away millions of dollars in merchandise, hotel stays, and other perks over the course of a year so they are always double-checking to make sure that their gifts are given to the proper candidates. It is sometimes difficult to tell exactly what they are looking for; some professional gamblers are readily accepted at almost any casino while others are banned across the globe. Even though neither of them appear to cheat when you watch closely…casinos obviously see something in one player and something else in the other.

Keeping the Staff Honest

Staff members are also closely watched inside casinos due to the nature of the business. Think about it, the average casino employs thousands of people that make $3-10 per hour, with the vast majority of their salaries coming from player tips. Every day players try to convince dealers to help them cheat, to lie about their betting amounts, or to help unravel some other type of scam that would give them money or an undeserved hotel comp, In most cases the dealer is caught and terminated on the spot, but that doesn’t mean that the problem is anywhere near being solved for management. As long as casinos continue to give away big money in loyalty rewards, there will be both players and staff members that try to abuse the system.

Online Poker In California: The Fight Is On

Online Poker In California: The Fight Is On

You might well think that online gambling games are available for all to play, no matter what part of the world you happen to live in, but this is surprisingly not the case. Actually, more than 50 per cent of the world’s population is prohibited from indulging in online blackjack games or similar in their own countries (although sometimes, different nations will allow people in foreign countries to play online, which strikes us as a bit unfair).

A study released just this month (May 11th) by KeyToCasino found that 39 different countries have a blanket ban on online casino games, while 61 nations allow them to operate under license and 93 do not have an explicit ban in place but also haven’t licensed any online casinos either.

You need to be careful when playing online in various countries, as you could end up facing an administrative or a criminal penalty – just have a look at this case involving a German gambler who was fined €2,100 by the District Court in Munich and had his winnings of €63,490 confiscated after he played online blackjack on a site that wasn’t licensed in Germany.

The KeyToCasino survey further found that the countries included most often on the banned list were the US, France and Israel – US citizens are in fact prohibited from playing in some 72 per cent of online casinos around the world, so if you want to flex your poker muscles you’ll have a hard time doing so.

Based on their findings, the organisation came up with what it’s dubbed the Gambling Availability Score, based on the following factors: The percentage of online casinos that let people from the country play, the law relating to land-based casinos, the law for online casino operators, the penalties that people face, whether internet service providers block casino access and whether financial transactions relating to online gambling are blocked.

Countries can score a maximum of 1,000 points based on this criteria – and what was found was that the US was actually the worst place in the entire world for online gamblers to call home, scoring 311 points out of a possible 1,000.

Back in 2006, US Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, which stopped online players from carrying out financial transactions with internet-based casinos – although it’s important to note that the act of actually playing online poker and other games was never made illegal. You can now only indulge your internet gambling passion legally in Nevada (the first to legalise online poker), Delaware and New Jersey, but it’s entirely possible that the great state of California could soon be joining the ranks of the enlightened.

In April, a key hearing was held by the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee where those present voted unanimously to advance the California Online Poker Bill (AB 431). While this doesn’t mean that the bill will be passed, it is significant because it’s the first time that an online poker bill has been given a committee vote in the state of California.

And on May 28th, AB 431 was released by the Assembly Appropriates Committee, with informational hearings now scheduled for June and August – although there are many sceptics out there who believe it unlikely that an agreed-upon bill will come out by the end of the year. There has been some contention around the extension of online poker website licences to include race tracks in California, with some influential American Indian tribes opposed to having the tracks included.

For example, the Pechanga group – including the likes of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation – believes that the extension would not only violate public policy related to California’s limited gambling but also affect the exclusivity that tribal governments have to run casino gambling. Many now believe that this lack of tribal agreement on the matter will mean that a California internet gambling bill will not be pushed through this year.

With the growth of mobile social gambling, it would perhaps make sense for legislation to be passed this year so that companies like Poker

Stars can get a slice of the digital pie – in order to stay competitive in an increasingly digital world, this is perhaps a business opportunity that should not be passed up if possible.

The main sticking point does seem to be the inclusion of race tracks in the bill. The industry is eager to get involved with online gambling games and poker, according to the Sacramento Bee, viewing it as an opportunity to recoup revenue, generate renewed interest in racing among different demographics and offer bigger prizes.

Robyn Black, lobbyist for the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, was quoted as saying: “We’re the only major racing state in the country that doesn’t have some other kind of gaming at our racetracks. So when you’re competing for horses to bring in to California to race … the Eastern states are more competitive with their purses.”

However, Jeff Grubbe of the Agua Caliente Band noted that horse tracks are not licensed poker operators and that, although organisations were offered a subsidy from the revenue of internet poker, this was refused.

Earlier this month, Atlantic City hosted the East Coast Gaming Congress, where legislators, payment processors and casino operators all came together to discuss the future of online gaming in the US. While it might be the horse tracks and tribes halting progress in California, those present at the conference agreed that the online gambling industry as a whole was being hindered by some banks’ refusals to manage digital betting transactions. Senior vice-president of Vantiv Gaming Solutions Joe Pappano noted that when online gambling started in New Jersey, customers struggled to make deposits because banks wouldn’t authorise the transactions, although this has now improved thanks to Visa adopting new transaction codes in April. Visa acceptance rates are now around 50 per cent, up from the 18-22 per cent a few years ago.

But – according to the Star Tribune, New Jersey state senator Raymond Lesniak (who sponsored the internet gambling law in his state) said the biggest problem the industry is facing with regards to legalisation of online gambling is Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands chairman, who has said he will spend as much as he needs to in order to ban online gambling in the country amid fears of children being able to access betting sites and the exploitation of more vulnerable people.

“When a billionaire says he’ll spend whatever it costs to stop internet gambling, that scares the bejeezus out of legislators,” Mr Lesniak was quoted as saying.

For California, it was looking promising but as stakeholders, tribes and legislators argue over the finer points of the bill, the chances of any outcome being agreed upon in 2015 get slimmer by the day. We here at Casino Fantasia will continue to watch the story with interest – who knows what’s going to happen?

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